“The beauty of a bespoke summerhouse is that we dont need planning permission as we work within the regulations. You can also be in control of the design look and feel of the project, as we can do what ever you like with it!”
I recently completed this bespoke summerhouse in Hertfordshire. For this project I used standard 2×4 stud walls, pressure treated shiplap cladding, insulation and readily available interior trimmings. I will attempt to explain how I did it in this page, so keep reading 🙂
Building regs and advantages of a bespoke summerhouse
I found the building regulations for sheds and outbuildings to be very limiting. It was therefore very advantageous for me to have 100% control over the construction of the outbuilding.
Building regs for sheds briefly explained and how they effected me.
No part of the shed/summerhouse can be within 1 meter of a boundry line. As the garden was very small we needed to use every bit of space at the back of it and still keep 1 meter away from any boundary. As it happens this boundary was not a perfect square and although you would not recognise it from the front view we gained quite a few feet of extra space by having complete control of the structure. See the pic on the right for the shape of our summerhouse and the property boundary line.
The height can not exceed 2.5 meters. This I found to be the biggest problem as I used a suspended floor/joist system and so had to change the design to a flat roof (initially going to be normal). The measurement is taken from the lowest point surrounding the structure and so if you have a garden that slopes up by 0.5 meter from one side to the other you have a problem as you will only be left with 2 meters on the highest point. (2 meters is the height of a door so there is not much left for roof etc)
In retrospect I would definately have landscaped the area thoroughly and used a steel re-inforced concrete base slightly above ground level. This would have given me allot more height to play with the roof structure etc.
Other advantages of going bespoke
Although the cost of this was quite high ( approx £4000 in materials) and it was very labour intensive for 1 man alone, there were very clear advantages for building the summerhouse from scratch as opposed to getting a premade one.
1) Insulation. As I used 2×4 inch studs for the walls I was able to use a 70mm rigid insulation that wedged in between the timber studs. I dont think this option is available with any pre-made ones and so this way is guaranteed to have better thermal properties throughout winter and summer.
2)Waterproof membrane. I used a breathable waterproof membrane wrapped around the exterior of the stud walls that guarantees no water is getting in between the Toungue and Groove of the Shiplap cladding.
3) Double glazing. None of the affordable pre made ones included double glazed windows. So I was able to get standard/cheap double glazed UPVC windows for £100 and use them.
4) Traditional timber frame. As the walls were made in traditional timber frame style I included place for electrics and also applied plasterboard for interior finishing. This gives it more of an “addition to the house” feel than an shed/outbuilding feel.
5)Exact shape. The pre-made ones all came at shapes that did not suit this garden and I think the price for them to make the pre-made ones to spec would have beeen quite high.
6)Easily organised. As I did everything I knew exactly what was going on. Usually pre-made summerhouses get delivered in a large pile of loose timber that the installer has to sort through and hope they got it right. (particularly a problem with cheaper versions)
7)Choice of cladding. We had a choice of finishing/cladding options. There were the cost effective Shiplap and Toungue & Groove options, and then the more expensive Loglap options.
8)Suspended floor option. This garden was full of concrete and generally would have been very difficult to lanscape. So I built 4 level foundation walls about 30cm high and used timber 2×5 inch joists to span over all the hard concrete and to loose the slight slope of the garden (20cm). So if you dont mind one like this with a max height of 2.2.meters (and base of 0.3 meters) you can use the joist system and not need to landscape/concrete base etc.
(Please see pricing options at the end of this page)
If you would like one of these please let me know and we can have a chat about it. All in all this one came to about £5000 for labour and approx £4000 for materials. I am pretty easy going and perhaps to cut costs we can employ some cheap labour or yourself if you wish to get involved 🙂 07792508073 Russel